Russian e-books on a Kindle?
June 21, 2011 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend a site for getting e-books in Russian for a Kindle.

Are there any sites that pay the books' authors? Any tips for avoiding viruses and spyware?
posted by whimwit to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
FYI, Kindles 1 and 2 don't do Cyrillic. Kindle 3 is supposed to.
posted by thebazilist at 11:58 AM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: I have kindle 3 and it certainly does do cyrillic, not sure about older versions.

I don't know about the ones that pay authors, I bet if there are any, selection will be small. What you can certainly do is read a book and, if you feel it was well written, buy a hard copy. One of the sites for buying hard copies is; for ebooks in html that can be converted with kolibri, the older site is and the newer and larger is There are many others, of course, but these 2 are definitely very good.
posted by rainy at 12:51 PM on June 21, 2011

What kind of books, at what reading level, are you specifically interested in? Runet is totally built on piracy, so if you've got any kind of ethical criterion in mind, you're probably out of luck.
posted by nasreddin at 1:36 PM on June 21, 2011

As for viruses and spyware, I haven't run into that problem even while downloading from some pretty shady sites (use common sense and Microsoft Security Essentials). Generally I find that Russian sites built for consumption by Russians are pretty okay as far as that's concerned, but, again, they're almost certainly going to involve piracy.
posted by nasreddin at 1:38 PM on June 21, 2011

The russian ebook piracy scene is probably the most advanced in the world. But sadly I don't know of any legitimate sites.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:43 PM on June 21, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who's offered thoughts so far.

nasreddin, I'm a native speaker of Russian. The books I'm looking to buy at the moment are contemporary non-fiction titles that I'm using for research, but I'm interested in other things too.

rainy's link to seems promising. (The formatting of most books on isn't great for the Kindle.) says that their paid subscriptions are going to help them transition to a legal operating model. The company that is helping them with that seems to have a limited selection of fully licensed e-books, audio books, and films in Russian at

Both sites make e-books available in the fb2 format, which the Kindle doesn't read natively, but Calibre converts them easily enough. The formatting of the book I tested looks pretty good.

If anyone else has any other resources to suggest (especially if they offer e-books in the mobi format that's more Kindle-friendly), please post them.
posted by whimwit at 6:55 PM on June 21, 2011

What you want is Which is the same library as, with a really good front-end on it. You get books, author information, discussions, etc - and as a bonus, the site auto-converts books into a variety of formats, including epub and mobi for your kindle. Absolutely no spyware, shady ads, etc. Really, it's how ebook stores should work, except it's a "pirate" site, not a store. Which is too bad.

See also for more esoteric stuff, but honestly I bet you will find absolutely anything you can think of at Flibusta. One of the things you can download there is a giant package of everything behind flibusta/, if you so wish.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 8:20 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Amazon tells me this
Kindle can display Cyrillic such as Russian, Japanese, Chinese Traditional and Simplified, and Korean characters in addition to Latin and Greek scripts for certain file types.

To view a personal document with non-Latin characters on your Kindle, send your file as the Microsoft Word document (.DOC) attachment to your Kindle's e-mail address ("name" The file will be converted to Kindle format for free and sent to both your Kindle via the Wi-Fi connection and also to the e-mail address associated with your account.

It seems to work for pdf format as well.
posted by adamvasco at 1:21 AM on June 22, 2011

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